33 Galveston Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before ... Read More
We have cruised several times with several different cruise ship lines over the past 15 years. We actually cruised on the Royal Navigator of the Seas in 2006 so this was our second time aboard this very ship. I want everyone to know before you book your trip that we have NEVER been told NO so many times aboard ship! It was such a different experience from all of our other trips that we won't likely cruise any more. The new trend is to have everyone purchase drink cards, not just the usual 'soda pop cards' but non-alcoholic cards and alcohol cards as well. What this means is that the line already has everyone's money so they don't have very many attendants walking about asking you if you would like a drink brought to you. You now get to go stand in line and wait 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar. AND, if you purchased one of their drink cards you are told that you can only get ONE drink and that you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to get back in line to purchase another. We don't drink alcohol so this rule wasn't just for hard drinkers. I couldn't get two bottles of water to drink after working out in the gym. What a joke. I actually was not asked if I wanted a drink of anything for two solid days. That is not what the shipboard service is suppose to be like. We also found the service in the formal dining to be changed as well...keep in mind we were on this very ship several years prior and we know what the standard service experience should be. We were sat down and given menus and expected to get our dinner orders submitted ASAP. We asked to start with drinks (non-alcololic for us) and the waiter actually became irritated. We ended up drinking water and hurrying thru our dinner. Second night he attempted to do the same and we told him no. We insisted that he go find a bar attendant for us so we could order drinks prior to placing our food orders. Our waiter did weird things like giving menus to two men at our table and not giving menus to the ladies for several minutes. Things like that shouldn't happen with upscale dining. Also, the waiter wouldn't bring me a cappuccino coffee with my dessert stating that my drink card did not provide for after dinner coffee. I ended up standing for 30 minutes in the service desk line the next day to get that resolved. So stupid that the employees of the ship don't know their own rules. Every bar tender had a different excuse as to why I couldn't receive a free drink with my drink card as well as the amount of time I had to wait to order a second one. The only high light was the room steward who took great care of us during our trip and one particular waiter that came to us each evening in the dining room (starting on day 3 ! but that wasn't his fault). Those two men were the only people who made our ship board experience special...everyone else acted like the passengers were just in their way. Also note that if you purchase the drink card that they charge you for each day you are aboard the ship; however, they will not serve you any drinks on the last day as they state that the cards no longer work on the day that you disembark even though you paid for that day! I don't know yet if all ship lines are moving to this type of service; but my guess is that they are...just like anytime dining is now the standard fare option on most ships too now. New cruisers will not realize that they are receiving substandard service but past cruisers know what the service standards were and will definitely be unhappy with what is being given now. I would rather stay in a hotel and eat in a regular restaurant and get up and go order my own drink from a bar without paying many thousands of dollars that we pay for cruising. I use to think the extra costs were worth it because of the special service that you received onboard. Not any more... The room was tight as far as size but well appointed and beds were very comfortable. We had a third person in our room (our daughter) and her bed was hanging directly over the main bed in the room. We didn't like that layout but were unaware of how the extra bed was set up. Last ship we were on the extra bed was a fold out from the sofa which was much better FYI   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our second time sailing out of a Galveston. I must say, our first experience was much better then this one. As stated by others -the terminal is very crowded and the process is not run well. Additionally, we had a very slow agent ... Read More
This was our second time sailing out of a Galveston. I must say, our first experience was much better then this one. As stated by others -the terminal is very crowded and the process is not run well. Additionally, we had a very slow agent who questioned my passport picture and ask me to show two additional forms of id. Then, she didn't activate my card properly or explain that I needed to go to guest services for my beverage sticker in order to use it. So, even though this wasn't RCL's fault, it said the wrong tone for the week to come. First the pros ....We found the ship to be beautiful. We have taken a cruise every year for the last seven years and this ship was up there with one of the best looking. We found our room to be roomy enough for the 3 of us. My 2 kids are 15 and 12 and we had plenty of room for us. Plus the balcony was roomy enough and nice. We thought they could have provided a bit more space for hangingitems however there is plenty of drawer space and small shelves which are great for toiletries. The kids clubs were great for the kids with the exception of a "prom" theme on the last night. Both my 12 and 15 year old didn't like the idea of finding a date to go to prom. I think they missed the mark on that one. As for the cons.... It was so rare that the staff acknowledged us by name. Apparently this is just not important to the staff. Most of the time the staff wouldn't even say "hi". They would just look away from you. We found this very unprofessional. We also thought the food was pretty blah. The same food is served in the dining room as the buffet in a lot of cases. We didn't try the specialty restaurants with the exception of Johnny rockets which costs 5.95 a person. Which wasn't horrible but it is an additional $4 or so for a shake. That seemed a bit much. We were also told "you can't" a lot which rubbed us the wrong way. For example in the morning dining room I would sometimes go down grab a table and get a coffee why I waited for the kids to get dressed. There is no holding of tables even though others are coming. You must wait to be seated until all are there. There was no signing the kids up online for the age group 10-12 which impacted the other group we were with. These are just two but there are more of other little "you can't" rules that rubbed us wrong. Next,we took two excursions through the cruise ship that I was very disappointed in. They both transported us in very old school buses with no air conditioning and very poor suspension for the extremely rough roads. This made for a really bad experience for us and thought the cruise ship should have looked at better transportation options for us as we were in port with the carnival magic who transferred their guests by chartered buses with plush seats and air conditioning to the exact same locations. Lastly, as many warned us, the debarkation process is absolutely horrible! We waited in the hot terminal to get thru customs for close to 3 hours. It is very hot and there is absolutely no concern by any of the workers for the high frustration levels of all the crammed together cruisers. It is a bad way to end what should be a fantastic vacation Overall we won't be going on another royal carribean cruise for quite some time or ever given the competition. Additionally, even though Galveston is way closer for us, we will not be taking another cruise out of there until something changes with their port. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our 5th cruise with RC and we are Crown and Anchor Members. We were booked in a Junior Suite on Deck 7 Stern, Cabin 7352. The priority boarding process was slower than the regular passenger line. It was combined with those with ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with RC and we are Crown and Anchor Members. We were booked in a Junior Suite on Deck 7 Stern, Cabin 7352. The priority boarding process was slower than the regular passenger line. It was combined with those with wheelchairs, walkers, etc. Our cabin was HOT and we had to call Maintenance twice to get it corrected. It was fixed by about 8 pm so we can't complain. Maintenance person very professional. Dining Room service was great by the Waiter and Assistant Waiter (Jaimmee and Gabriel), Head Waiter never stopped by to chat. Feel that the gratuity for that guy (because we don't even know his name) was wasted. The food was unremarkable. Geriatric is the basic description. Disappointed....our home cooking was better.. Room Attendant (Golda)...no enthusiasm and was barely seen. We had to ask for basic services, ice, vacuuming, taking away used plates, the correct bag tags for departure. We again, feel that automatic gratuity was undeserved. Considering what we paid for cruise, these basic needs should have been covered. Theatre productions...hit the snooze bar..boring. While RC singers had great voices, there was a lack of chemistry or something else that made our previous trips so memorable. Ice Skating production was great. RC Orchestra was superb...they played independently at various venues and we loved their performances! Overall a good time, but not a WOW time. Ports were OK but we have visited Cozumel many times before being from TEXAS with limited itineraries here. We are willing, and have in fact booked a cruise out of San Juan in Feb 2015. Here's to the future! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We've sailed aboard the Mariner, The Voyager and now the Navigator. Each of these cruises were the last week of February out of Galveston. We were extremely disappointed with the changes ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean. We've sailed aboard the Mariner, The Voyager and now the Navigator. Each of these cruises were the last week of February out of Galveston. We were extremely disappointed with the changes aboard the Navigator. We've dealt with fog issues in the past but this year was the poorest, almost dangerous, debacle I've ever seen at embarkation. They can blame it on whomever they want, bottom line is Carnival was at the other terminal doing considerably better than we were. I don't mind waiting in line. I do mind waiting in a mob with 1,000 folks all trying to squeeze through a single door. I appreciate Anchor tiers. Loyalty should have privilege. However, quietly yelling "Platinum and above" from the door and not having some avenue for those folks to actually get to the door without plowing through the throng was just plain stupid. Ok...you get the idea about embarkation. We gave our WOW cards to the bartenders at the Bolero bar on deck 4. We gave an extra large tip to our waiter, Rey, on deck three in the dinning room. These three were enthusiastic, friendly, and represented Royal Caribbean well. They were fun to be around. And that's where my compliment ends. In seven days I was asked only once if I'd like a drink while being around the pool. In years past, if I stopped in one place for more than a few minutes someone would ask if we needed something. At the Solarium party I stood next to not one, but two, waiters neither of which budged for twenty minutes. Crazy. It appeared to me that there was some kind of intentional slow down on the part of the wait staff. All other staff we dealt with we're....present? It's disappointing that the production shows were drastically "less" than in the past. It seemed to be function of the producers, not the talent. Same with the ice skaters. A couple years ago we were stunned with the awesome production, this year the skaters were great but the rest was...OK. It's ashamed that RC continues to use the same comedians and magicians, They were good, but they are also using the darn near exact same routines we've seen in the past. RC, as it brags about the number of returning cruisers, should realize that us returning cruisers actual remember the shows we've seen, The Texas Tenors were AMAZING! So was the afternoon show that Chad the magician did on Saturday. Food...it was fine. We did go to Izumi on Saturday night and really liked it. That was the first meal we were actually impressed with. Room...we booked late. The only two balcony rooms that were available were both handicapped access rooms. We aren't handicapped but RC went ahead and booked us into the room. Wow! Huge! Obviously not a normal balcony room which we always book, but the extra space was cool. Room attendant, again, was just OK. I guess that's it. It kinda breaks my heart to have to Rory so negatively. Perhaps RC will consider returning to the same superior level of service we've learned to expect from them. Until then, we're going to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have waited for the coldest part of the winter for us, to go warm up. The start was a disaster! We got to the pier about a half hour before we were suppose to start going aboard. We were advised by phone that the ship was not due to ... Read More
We have waited for the coldest part of the winter for us, to go warm up. The start was a disaster! We got to the pier about a half hour before we were suppose to start going aboard. We were advised by phone that the ship was not due to dock for several hours, due to fog. Okay, we know Mother Nature makes the rules. Well after the ship docked, we started the normal boarding process. After over 8 hours of waiting, we were herded into a large area to wait again. At least those with special needs were put on board sooner. From there it was one struggle after another. The buffet that is usually open all day and night was only opened for specific times. They had a little snack cafe on deck 5 that was overwhelmed almost all the time. As usual the drinks were watered and expensive. Beer is beer so that much was normal. The entertainment was so so, not as good as other cruises. The ice shows were the better of the evening entertainment and enjoyed them. They had put a wave rider on the rear deck for adventurous folks which was a nice touch too. Loved the rock climbing wall too. As usual the staff are the best part of the cruise. Our cabin steward, Sammy, was very accommodating and attentive to our wishes. The dining staff were great as usual and the meals were smaller, but good portions, you can always have more. Less waste, so it is a good idea. Great company at our dinning table and through out the cruise. The only problem was a couple that kept cutting in line to exit at port, while the rest of us waited in lines, again. I had enough and called them on it and they got back in line since they were not better than the rest of us. I hope you read this, you two. She was Hispanic and he was Anglo. I saw this a lot in 3rd world countries where they know we have more respect for our ladies than they do. They send them ahead in line and then walk up and start a conversation with someone. One other fact. is in this age, the internet service you purchase, is slow as dial up. I tried to down load a book on my kindle and for half an hour, it would not download. Oh, they said they internet at that time was down, but I did not get a credit for my time attempting to use the internet. Heads up here too. I will think hard before I look at Royal Caribbean for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Where to begin! First, we are experienced cruisers, and have sailed with several different cruise lines. Eleven months earlier we took the same Caribbean cruise, on Royal Caribbean, but that trip was on the Mariner of the Seas. The first ... Read More
Where to begin! First, we are experienced cruisers, and have sailed with several different cruise lines. Eleven months earlier we took the same Caribbean cruise, on Royal Caribbean, but that trip was on the Mariner of the Seas. The first thing we learned on this trip (on the Navigator) is that Royal Caribbean’s quality standards vary greatly from ship to ship. There was little comparison between the two cruises. Apparently Captain Flemming Neilsen of the Mariner ran a tight ship. Captain Claus Andersen of the Navigator does not. The Navigator of the Seas came up short in every category except food, where we have to give an edge to the Navigator. The crew of the Navigator seems to have a large concentration of Eastern Europeans. We found many to be disinterested and distracted at best, surly and distracted at worst. Our cabin attendant’s level of cleaning was far below standard. We had to go around behind him every day. The windows and railing were never washed. Stains on tables remained for days, until we cleaned them. In practically every respect we were extremely disappointed in the service level. As I said earlier, the food was better. The selection and quality in the Windjammer was a marked improvement over the Mariner. Otherwise, the Navigator fell on its face in every respect. We never saw the captain. On the Mariner he was visible every day, and often. It is true that you get what you measure, and if you are not watching your staff will spend their time watching the young girls and not working. That is what we observed. The entertainment was a mixed bag. The ice show, which was exceptional on the Mariner, was amateurish and monotonous on the Navigator. True enough, it was their first show but it lacked refinement. The guest group The Drifters was spectacular, but the Russian gymnasts (or whatever they were supposed to be) put on a brief display of physical prowess, done to painful choreography and sophomoric graphics. We also noticed that the demographic that Royal Caribbean is catering to on this cruise route has shifted. It now appears that the 50 plus gang has been tossed under the bus in favor of the 20-40 year old gang. Most “entertainment” and onboard antics catered to that segment. It seemed more like a Carnival cruise line trip, catering to the drinking and partying set. Johnny Rockets Diner, which we used to love, appeared to be a hangout for off duty Eastern European gangsters, with some sort of rap, Euro, techno and hip hop music replacing classic rock and roll. In spite of what we would call a disappointing experience my instincts tell me to lay most of it at the feet of Captain Claus Andersen, who obviously has little interest in managing the crew under his command. We are sticking with Royal Caribbean for now, betting that Captain Flemming Neilsen of the Mariner of the Seas is more representative of the line than Captain Andersen. Our next cruise is booked on the Rhapsody of the Seas, in May 2014. Will see how that goes. I am expecting to have a great experience!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed from Galveston on Dec 8th. The Navigator pales in comparison to our past cruises from Galveston on Mariner, Voyager and Rhapsody. On all our previous Royal Caribbean cruises, everything from the crew to the food to the ... Read More
We sailed from Galveston on Dec 8th. The Navigator pales in comparison to our past cruises from Galveston on Mariner, Voyager and Rhapsody. On all our previous Royal Caribbean cruises, everything from the crew to the food to the entertainment was wonderful.. The ship itself is lovely and it was decorated for Christmas which was nice. There is a lot of art around the ship that is interesting and fun to look at. The public areas were clean and inviting. We enjoyed the steamroom and sauna and fitness center. We had a great time in Grand Cayman and Cozumel on DIY excursions. We walked around the port in Falmouth which is really just an extension of the ship with the same prices on everything. What we've seen of Jamaica during this and previous cruises is gorgeous so next time we will book an excursion to see more of it. On this cruise, we found the crew to be somewhat unfriendly and in some cases, rude. For instance man-handling (expensive) personal items when returning to the ship from port and saying things like "my time is valuable" when people on vacation weren't moving fast enough for them. While the service was good in the main diningroom, the food was good only the last night out of the seven; otherwise, it was not good at all and not even edible in some cases. People say food is subjective but one of our tablemates put her fork in her mashed potatoes, raised them as one solid inedible mass, waved it around and said "I just don't see how they could improve on these mashed potatoes".. we laughed until we cried because dressing up and sitting down at a beautifully set table, having someone place a napkin in your lap and then be served slop is just that absurd..and there was nothing subjective about it. Food at the Cafe Promenade was good for the most part. There was always a long line which we never experienced on other ships but I think people were hungry since the diningroom food was so bad. We ate at the Windjammer for lunch a time or two and the food was fine and about what you'd expect. Everything we ordered from room service was really good. We ordered breakfast a time or two and bistro burgers for lunch once and it was all as ordered and tasty. We did eat at Chops Grille one night and the food and service was top-notch. We had our reservations booked and paid for before we sailed and would highly recommend Chops. Our cabin was fine and our attendant did a good job. We had to call around to get ice a number of times but other than that, he did a good job and was friendly. While we are on the subject of ice, let me just interject that there seemed to be a shortage of ice on the ship. If you asked for ice for your tea at the Cafe Promenade, they told you to get it from the coffee bar. Seriously? The ice show is very entertaining even if you usually skip the theatre shows (like us). As far as other entertainment, it was pretty much non-existent after about 8 at night. The disco was closed which we didn't understand considering it just requires someone to spin records. At the same time last year, we were dancing the night away on a crowded dance floor in the disco every night on the Mariner. Only one hot tub was running in the main pool area and it was always packed. Even TV was sub-par. Lots of good things to watch if you understand Italian and German. Overall, this cruise was bad enough that my husband wants to cancel our two future cruises with Royal. I want to believe this cruise was just a fluke because it doesn't make sense to me how we could have such spectacular cruises from Galveston on the Voyager and Mariner for 3 years running and then experience this one that was such a dud. Someone in another review mentioned the ship is headed to dry dock and maybe that's why there are staffing, morale and management issues. I guess we'll all have our fingers crossed that dry dock fixes the issues with the Navigator. Who's going to spend a couple grand to find out? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Princess in the past with 8 cruises in total. Royal Caribbean has been my preference overall from the food, service, ease of embarkation etc. This trip was extremely ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Princess in the past with 8 cruises in total. Royal Caribbean has been my preference overall from the food, service, ease of embarkation etc. This trip was extremely disappointing for many reasons but primarily in all past cruises (on any ships mentioned) entertainment was enjoyable, and something that we thoroughly enjoyed after a day either at the pool or on shore. Unfortunately this was not the case on this particular cruise. We were in awe initally as to why there was no entertainment beyond a very poor "comedy" act which to many was quite offensive (except for the last comedian that I had seen before and was very good). Unless you were into trivia, (we were going to attend at one point but could not get into the lounge as it was overcrowded), interested in heavy drinking you were out of luck. We could not enjoy the hot tub in the Solarium because 9 twenty somethings (and some were obviously NOT of age) spent most of the days while on board - all yelling, drinking, and getting more loud as they drank. Many of the older travellers could not get in the hot tub nor would they want to as these individuals really took over the area. We were not aware of the rationale for the lack of entertainment in the theater until the last night there when told there was an issue with maintenance of the stage and the fact that the ship was going in for re-fitting. The morning we left we went to enter the elevator only to find everything had been already removed and the floor, walls, ceiling were just bare plywood. The feelings many got was that RC couldn't wait to get rid of us so they could proceed with the renovations. It was an insult I am sure not only to us and the few others who mentioned it. We were certainly not along in feeling that the bare necessities were provided this cruise because of the upcoming refitting. The schedule of activities was poor and except for the ice show far below what I have come to expect from Royal Caribbean...very poor experience. Several of us have booked for the 45 day repositioning cruise in 2015 in Europe. This will be costly but having travelled RC before, it this cruise proves to be a bust, we will certainly be considering alternative cruise lines. VERY VERY disappointing and we travelled from Vancouver Canada...pretty much a waste of 7 days we won't get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Navigator of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.5 4.2

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